Fishing isn’t just about throwing a line or a net into the water and waiting for fish to bite. For some fish, you’ll need an entirely new technique, namely getting into the water to execute tricky casts in what’s known as fly fishing. And if you’re going to wade in the water, you’d better have the best wading pants on.
Whether you’re new to the world of fly fishing or a seasoned veteran looking for better tools, no one can deny the importance of having the best wading pants on. It’s not just your rod and fly that you need to look out for – without good wading pants, you’ll be weighed down and be distinctly uncomfortable, and you’ll lose the waiting game against the fish!
So, what exactly are wading pants?
What are Wading Pants?
That’s simple: they’re pants made specifically for wading in shallow to just below waist-deep water. Wading pants are often made of waterproof or water-resistant materials and are carefully manufactured to be completely sealed off from the outside.
Do note that wading pants are different from chest waders or hip waders.
Hip waders are more like an oversized pair of boots that’ll keep your legs (but not your waist) safe from water, so long as it’s not too deep.
Chest waders, on the other hand, often look like a one-piece suspender outfit. These are heavy-duty waterproofed garments meant not only for keeping you dry, but also warm. Unfortunately, these are rather bulky.
Wading pants are a good compromise between the two. Wading pants are easy to put on, and don’t restrict your movement too much while not adding extra warmth and weight to your upper body.
If you’ve determined that it’s definitely wading pants you want – not hip waders, not chest waders – then you’re in the right place. It’s time to teach you what to look for in the ideal pair of wading pants.
You may like to read: Best Saltwater Wading Boots
Buyer’s Guide to Wading Pants
The first thing you should look for when shopping for wading pants is the material. Ideally, you should get something that’s light yet comfortable, and provides perfect insulation for the water temperature you’re planning to fish in.
The best material for cold weather is neoprene. However, these wading pants can get pretty warm, so nylon and polyester are also acceptable substitutes for tepid waters and hotter weather. While not strictly a part of wading pants, you should also look into undergarments, such as fleece pants.
You’ll also want wading pants with an adjustable belt, and while you’re at it, look for pants with loops or holders for your accessories. The latter of these is optional, but will definitely be worth it if you don’t want to make multiple trips if you forgot any of your fishing accessories.
Wading pants also come as either stockingfoot or bootfoot. Stockingfoot waders provide insulated stockings that’ll keep your feet dry and protected against loose particles like gravel and sand – but you’ll have to bring your own wading boots. Bootfoot wading pants, on the other hand, come with their own boot, which is great if you want the whole package in one go. This comes at the cost of reduced versatility, since you can’t remove the boots from the wading pants.
Finally, make sure that the wading pants you’re getting come in the right size. This is very important as wading pants need to fit just right to provide optimal protection against water.
With all those in mind, I’d like to introduce you to my list of the best wading pants available on Amazon now.
Best Wading Pants on Amazon
Best Overall Wading Pants
Frogg Toggs Hellbender Stockingfoot Guide Pants
- 100% nylon construction with 4-ply upper section to keep water out
- Adjustable belt with quick-release buckle and daisy-chain accessory loops
- Gravel guards with rubberized, elastic openings
Pros: Dri2Pore Gen 2 system ensures comfortable waterproof construction, thoroughly stress tested, lightweight in spite of heavy protection, fit great
Cons: Sizing can be tricky, pricey
The Frogg Toggs Hellbender Stockingfoot Guide Pants is my personal pick for the best wading pants on the market today.
These wading pants feature a sturdy yet lightweight nylon construction that uses the Dri2Pore Gen 2 system for complete waterproofing. If that’s not enough protection for you, these wading pants also have a 4-ply upper section to keep you safe and dry.
Stocking-based gravel guards with rubberized, elastic openings guard your feet and help you keep your footing in even the fiercest streams. And in spite all of this protection, these wading pants are very light and very comfortable.
These wading pants also come with an adjustable belt with a quick-release buckle allows you to take your accessories with you, and you can even daisy-chain them with the help of built-in loops.
Bottomline: These wading pants are my personal favorite thanks to their combination of comfort, functionality, and a reasonable price tag.
Best Protective Wading Pants
Kylebooker Breathable Stockingfoot Waist High Pant Waders
- TRICOT 3-layer fabric construction
- Neoprene socks for optimal insulation
- All seams have been taped, glued, and stitched to provide maximum protection
Pros: Super watertight construction, built-in gravel guards protect your feet, reinforced seams for even greater protection
Cons: Small, weird sizing, can be baggy
The Kylebooker Breathable Stockingfoto Waist High Pant Waders is perfect for those who want to double and triple check their seams to ensure water doesn’t come in.
These wading pants feature TRICOT 3-layer fabric construction for optimal protection. But if that’s not enough, the seams on these pants have been thoroughly stitched, taped, and glued to ensure perfect waterproofing.
Aside fromt these features, these pants are fairly decent with their neoprene socks and gravel guards, making them a good pick regardless of whether you need the extra protection or not.
Bottomline: If you really can’t afford to get wet, give the Kylebooker Breathable Stockingfoot Waist High Pant Waders a try.
Best Budget Wading Pants
HISEA Breathable Stockingfoot Insulated Waist Waders
- Ultralight design offers great comfort and unmatched flexibility
- 3-ply polyester provides durability and waterproofing
- Zippered waterproof storage
Pros: Comfortable and loose fitting, warm
Cons: Strange fit, inaccurate sizing chart, bit baggy
The HISEA Breathable Stockingfoot Insulated Waist Waders are my pick for the best budget wading pants available on the market today. They’re light, comfortable, and just the right amount of warm – all while remaining very affordable.
These wading pants have an ultralight, polyester design that offers great comfort and unmatched flexibility, while keeping you safe from water. These pants also come with zippered waterproof storage for keeping your accessories close at hand, and a quick-release belt for easy removal.
However, potential customers need to wary that the size charts of these wading pants are inaccurate. It’s best to get something a little larger, or contact the seller before purchasing this item.
Bottomline: The HISEA Waist Waders provide a good mixture of performance and affordability – great for anglers on a tight budget.
Best Premium Wading Pants
Simms Freestone Waterproof Fishing Wading Pants
- Toray quadralam fabric technology provides ultimate waterproofing and comfort
- Built-in gravel guards
- Neoprene stockingfoot ends
Pros: Lightweight yet durable, super waterproof via Toray quadralam fabric, covered by Simms warranty
Cons: Very pricey, sizing is tricky
The Simms Freesteone Waterproof Fishing Wading Pants is proof of Simms’ commitment to making state-of-the-art, innovative products designed to make fishing easier.
This set of wading pants takes comfort and safety to a whole new level with its Toray quadralam fabric technology, a heavy-duty fabric with micro-porous waterproof coating. With these wading pants, you’ll be hard-pressed to find even a single drop of water after a long day of fishing in water.
The built-in gravel guards and neoprene stockingfoot ends fit snugly yet comfortably around the legs and feet while offering good mix of comfort and insulation.
Bottomline: While the Simms Freestone Waterproof Fishing Wading Pants commands a high price, you’ll definitely thank yourself later after trying out these premium wading pants.
Best Designed Wading Pants
UNISPO Waist Wader Pants
- Waterproof zippered pockets for storing valuables like keys and phone
- Adjustable waistband and belt
- Neoprene Stocking socks included
- Waterproof, but environment friendly materials
- Comes in several sizes
Pros: Features camouflage design that helps you blend in with your surroundings
Cons: Sizing is pretty big.
For anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors, wading pants are an essential piece of gear. UNISPO’s Waist Wader Pants are made from a lightweight 4-ply waterproof material, and the seams are taped to ensure durability.
The pants also have a waterproof coating for even more water resistance. The polyester construction makes the pants comfortable to wear, and the custom-made waist belts with YKK buckles provide a secure and adjustable fit.
The pants also come with a pocket with a YKK waterproof zipper closure, making it easy to keep essential items dry. Whether you’re fishing, hiking, or just exploring the outdoors, UNISPO’s Waist Wader Pants will help you stay dry and comfortable.
FAQs about Wading Pants
What’s better – wading pants or chest waders?
Both of these are excellent choices, each with their own use cases. Wading pants are perfect for warm summer days, where you’ll likely want to be free of as much unnecessary clothing as possible. On the other hand, chest waders are better for cold days and icy waters, as you’ll want as much warmth as possible.
Do I need to wear extra garments under my wading pants?
That depends on the material that your wading pants are made of. While it’s always a good idea to wear something beneath your wading pants, you’ll want something that repels moisture. Water-resistant stuff like polyester is always a good choice, while absorbent materials like cotton should be avoided.
Do I need to get wading boots along with my wading pants?
Unless your wading pants are sold as bootfoot waders, yes, you’ll have to get a separate pair of wading boots.
Can I use wading pants for saltwater?
Yes, most wading pants are made for use in either freshwater or saltwater.
Should wading pants come with a zipper?
The zipper is optional. However, wading pants that have zippers often have different mechanisms in place to ensure that the pants stay dry.
Enjoy Your New Wading Pants
No matter which wading pants you ultimately decide to get, you’ll no doubt be pleased by their in-water performance and the ease with which you put them on. Just remember – it’s your safety and comfort that’s the most important thing with wading pants.